Cleaner Cooking Is In The Bag

Kopernik, with the support of ExxonMobil, is working with our ‘wonder women’ micro-social-entrepreneurs on a simple new technology which can be produced locally in Tuban, East Java, Indonesia. We’ve named this product Tas Mantap - which means ‘Awesome Bag’ in Indonesian. Why is Tas Mantap so awesome? Because it allows the women who make it to earn extra income, and the women who buy it to save time and money on cooking. 

BUT HOW DOES IT WORK?

“ITS SHAPE IS UNIQUE, LIKE A PILLOW OR A VERY COMFY MATTRESS... BUT WHAT DO YOU USE TAS MANTAP FOR?”

This question always came up when I introduce the product. My answer: you use Tas Mantap to finish cooking hot meals for your family, as the pillow-like material retains the heat from cooking when you put a pot inside the bag. Simply put a half-cooked pot inside Tas Mantap and close it tightly - the bag’s heat retention properties will complete the cooking process. 

In this way, Tas Mantap helps women to save money on cooking fuel and to save time cooking over a hot stove, while still providing families with the comforts of a warm meal. The bag is also very convenient if you need to take a meal to a picnic, or to the fields during harvest season.

PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

In the early stages of product development, we worked together with Ms Lasmani, one of Kopernik’s ‘wonder women’ who is also a tailor.

The Kopernik team and Ms Lasmani had a lot of discussions, especially about what material to use inside Tas Mantap. There are many materials which could be used to retain heat, including chopped-up Styrofoam, shredded paper, or old scraps of fabric. We narrowed it down to Dacron, a synthetic polyester fibre, or kapok, a natural cotton-like seed fibre.

There were a lot of considerations, but in the end we decided on kapok because it’s inexpensive and easily available in Tuban, and it’s also biodegradable.

Cotton fabric can be used for the bag itself – which provided us with an awesome opportunity to use genuine local Tuban batik for Tas Mantap, making it a truly unique product. If you’re not familiar with batik, it is a technique of wax-resist dyeing to create unique patterns on fabric. The Indonesian island of Java is world-famous for its batik – UNESCO has even named Indonesian batik a ‘Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity’.

This provided even more motivation to Ms Lasmani to make Tas Mantap.

“IN ADDITION TO EARNING EXTRA INCOME, I ALSO ENJOY MAKING TAS MANTAP BECAUSE I CAN HELP INTRODUCE TUBAN’S BATIK PATTERN TO EVERYONE IN INDONESIA.”

OPEN SOURCE TECHNOLOGY

If you can sew, it’s not difficult to produce Tas Mantap. The shape and size can be customised according to your needs. With this in mind, we hope that Tas Mantap can be introduced throughout Indonesia, and that other tailors will make their own Tas Mantap, creating new business opportunities with it.

While it’s still early days for Tas Mantap, I’m sure that this technology will help a lot of women, especially in Tuban. Stay tuned for more news as we prepare to officially launch the product, or get a sneak peek at Tas Mantap by visiting Kopernik’s flagship Tech Kiosk in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

Within Indonesia, Tas Mantap is available to purchase from Kopernik's Tech Kiosk Ubud, and from Wonder Women micro-social-entrepreneurs in East Nusa Tenggara, East Java, and Aceh. If you would like to buy one for yourself, or become a Tas Mantap stockist, please contact Tech Kiosk Ubud: https://www.facebook.com/techkioskubud

[Photo Courtesy: Kopernik] 

If you want to find more about socially conscious living in Asia, check out Asia For Good's social enterprise directory.

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